Cape Tribulation, Daintree National Park (CYPAL) Tropical North Queensland

Take a relaxing stroll along picturesque Thornton Beach. Photo credit: Maxime Coquard © Queensland Government

Where the rainforest meets the Coral Sea—Cape Tribulation and its fringing reefs, Queensland. Photo credit: Tourism Queensland

Thornton Beach

Explore this stunning beach, nestled between the foothills of Thornton Peak and the ocean, with a picturesque backdrop of Struck Rock.

Accessible by

  • Conventional vehicle

Attraction facilities

  • Picnic tables

Stretch your legs at Thornton Beach, just north of a long stretch of national park where the densely rainforest-clad slopes of Thornton Peak sweep down to the coast.

Stroll along the beach towards the mouth of Cooper Creek, one of Australia's richest mangrove systems, and capture postcard-style photos of eye-catching Struck Rock, just offshore. In summer, you might see large flocks of pied imperial-pigeons arriving from New Guinea to breed; in winter, look for migrating humpback whales as they make their way past the beach.

This park is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, famed for its exceptional natural beauty, outstanding examples of the record of life, evolutionary history and remarkable diversity.

Getting there and getting around

Thornton Beach is in the Cape Tribulation section of Daintree National Park (CYPAL), 100–150km north of Cairns.

  • From Cairns, drive 104km north along the Captain Cook Highway to the entrance to the Cape Tribulation section of the park at the Daintree River crossing.
  • The Daintree ferry operates 6.00am–midnight every day with a reduced service on Christmas Day and occasional breaks in service for mechanical repairs or during flooding.
  • From the Daintree ferry, drive 37km north on Cape Tribulation Road (10km past Cow Bay village) to the car park at Thornton Beach.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Thornton Beach is open 24 hours a day

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting Cape Tribulation safely.

  • There are currently no park alerts for this park.